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Innovation and Diffusion of Clean/Green Technology: Can Patent Commons Help?

  • Bronwyn H. Hall
  • Christian Helmers

This paper explores the characteristics of 238 patents on 94 "inventions" contributed by major multinational innovators to the "Eco-Patent Commons", which provides royalty-free access to third parties to patented climate change related innovations. By comparing the pledged patents to other patents in the same technologies or held by the same multinationals, we investigate the motives of the contributing firms as well as the potential for such commons to encourage innovation and diffusion of climate change related technologies. This study, therefore, indirectly provides evidence on the role of patents in the development and diffusion of green technologies. More generally, the paper sheds light on the performance of hybrid forms of knowledge management that combine open innovation and patenting.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16920.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16920.

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Date of creation: Mar 2011
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Publication status: published as Hall, Bronwyn H. & Helmers, Christian, 2013. "Innovation and diffusion of clean/green technology: Can patent commons help?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 33-51.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16920
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  1. Lei, Zhen & Juneja, Rakhi & Wright, Brian D, 2009. "Patents versus patenting: implications of intellectual property protection for biological research," MPRA Paper 34640, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Richard Jefferson, 2006. "Science as Social Enterprise: The CAMBIA BiOS Initiative," Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization, MIT Press, vol. 1(4), pages 13-44, October.
  3. Christian Helmers & Bronwyn H. Hall, 2010. "The role of patent protection in (clean/green) technology transfer," Economics Series Working Papers CSAE WPS/2010-23, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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